Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II mountain bike brings bling to the XC World Cup, plus new Bike Ahead bar!

The latest project out of the mind of Ghost Factory Racing’s team manager is this Lector FS Unicorn II full-suspension mountain bike. In between prepping their race bikes, team mechanics were buffing the spring pollen off of the most blinged-out XC bike in the Nové Město World Cup pits ahead of this past weekend’s racing. While it wasn’t racing the World Cup itself, this rare unicorn was built up almost exactly like the team bikes, in a surprisingly stock build once you get over the fancy BikeAhead components…

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II XC project bike

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, silver in shadow

We first spotted the original full-suspension Ghost Lector FS on the Nové Město World Cup track back in 2020. And the German brand based just 5km from the Czech border does like to debut new bikes here – whether special editions or prototypes.

In fact, race team manager Tom Wickles had his shiny pink Unicorn I super bike here last spring. But COVID restrictions at the time kept that wild project bike from a broader audience. In any case, that bike was more about over-the-top customization, while this one simply brings the bling with a spec list you can just buy off-the-shelf…

Special Edition Details

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, front end

The Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II is as rare as its namesake, a one-off complete build and finish. But the frame itself is a stock Lector FS SF with the same Lightweight Carbon (LC) layup as their six different full carbon cross-country full-suspension build options.

The 29er Lector FS is unique in that its suspension travel is size-specific, so Tom’s size Large gets 120mm of rear wheel travel matched to a 120mm SID Ultimate fork.

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, suspension detail

Ghost calls the short-link 4-bar suspension Traction Link, based on their longer travel Riot trail bike. It uses a one-piece rear triangle for lightweight & stiffness, connected to the front end with two carbon linkages on oversized sealed bearings.

Rear suspension is handled by a matching RockShox SID Luxe Ultimate shock, but no remote lockout or Flight Attendant for Wickles who prefers a simpler, less complex setup.

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, frame details

The Ghost Lector FS Unicorn build gets a direct flush-mount 8 Pins post for the cleanest dropper install ever, plus the absolute maximum dropper travel possible. The bike also includes an extra cage or tool mount under the toptube, for XC & marathon racers who need to carry more than one water bottle inside the main triangle.

The Lector  FS gets conventional modular internal cable routing, and an integrated 1.5″ tapered headset with internal lock block.

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, rear end detail

The rest of the SRAM drivetrain is pretty straightforward – no more Hopp carbon upgrades here.

The carbon XX1 crankset gets a Quarq AXS power meter and 4-bolt 34T chainring, connected with a silver Eagle chain to an XX1 AXS rear derailleur and black GX cassette – because even pro team managers don’t have a lot extra Eagle cassette stock lying around these days!

Pedals are even simple mid-level black Crankbrothers Candy 3s, although Tom promises to eventually give them a gold titanium axle upgrade.

Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels in pit

The Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels are always an eye-catcher, even in their standard raw carbon finish. But these shiny chromed-out 6-spokes were actually what I first spotted, peeking out from behind the workbench in the Ghost Factory Racing team’s pit at the Czech World Cup…

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, Bike Ahead BiTurbo RS wheels disc brake side

The 27mm internal BiTurbo RS wheels have been around for almost 7 years by now, yet they still continue to pop up on everything from World Cup cross-country bikes to ultralight trail bikes, and even crazier project bikes in between.

What really makes them unique beyond their sharp-edged good looks is that the handmade-in-Germany wheels are as light as 1249g as 29ers and ultra-stiff, yet still said to be tough enough for down-country and trail riding abuse.

The Ghost Factory Racing team is one the wheels for their 3rd season, and claim to have had “not a single defect to report“.

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, pollen on chrome

Inside, the team use Pepi’s Tire Noodles for low-pressure flat protection. And Tom likes a set of the still pro-only  2.4″ Maxxis Aspen ST tires in the ultra-supple 170tpi pro Test Pilot casing for fast, dry riding. Or combined with a 2.35″ Rekon Race up front when he needs a bit more grip.

On a side note, one flaw we noticed with the mirror-like chrome finish covering this bike… pollen. No matter how much you want to see your reflection in a shiny mountain bike, mother nature is unavoidable in the middle of a springtime pine forest!

Bike Ahead The Unit mountain bike handlebar

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, Bike Ahead Unit handlebar

A new bit of tech we hadn’t yet seen from Bike Ahead Composites is their new The Unit one-piece carbon handlebar & stem cockpit. At the low, low price of just 499€ (/s) The Unit weighs as little as 215g and is available with plenty of options. Pick from 7.5° or 9.5° backsweep, 800 or 820mm widths, 0 or 15mm rise, 0° to -12° effective stem angles, and effective stem lengths from 44-88mm.

The ultralight bars are e-bike rated, have an optional out-front GPS mount, and a 130kg rider+gear weight limit.

Bike Ahead The Unit carbon handlebar+stem cockpit, Wolf Tooth dropper ReMote BarCentric

Tom’s cockpit is rounded off with a bit of trick detailing, swapping in an older set of Guide Ultimate brake lever bodies with Hopp carbon reservoir covers to shed a gram or two, and paired to newer Level 2-piston calipers to pair the contact-point adjust of the levers with the lighter calipers. And Wolf Tooth’s smooth bearing around-the-bar ReMote BarCentric dropper to control the 8 Pins dropper.

Oh yeah, and he goes “Full Send” with some custom-engraved ESI silicone grips, a cool customization feature anyone can order, and often overlooked.

2022 Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II, 120mm full-suspension XC project bike of Ghost Factory Racing manager Tom Wickles, complete in sun

Tom’s Ghost Lector FS Unicorn II isn’t so far off from the race bikes of  Anne Terpstra & Caroline Bohé who both finished in the top ten at this third round of the UCI XCO World Cup… so keep an eye out for a Pro Bike Check coming later this week.

Ghost-Bikes.com

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Gillis
Gillis
6 months ago

I’m getting late ’00’s McLaren F1 vibes.

Speshy
Speshy
6 months ago

I dunno man. Aerospokes look weird without a disk on the back.

Speshy
Speshy
6 months ago

Also, pretty sure I saw this thing on velospace right after the post for pengy

Hexsense
Hexsense
6 months ago

“The Unit weighs as little as 215g and is available with plenty of options. Pick from 7.5° or 9.5° backsweep, 800 or 820mm widths, 0 or 15mm rise, 0° to -12° effective stem angles and effective stem lengths from 44-88mm.”

Plenty of options in a tiny range?
I use 16 degree back sweep, 720mm wide, 12mm downward offset (negative rise) and -25 degree effective stem angle, 60mm length.

The only spec that The Unit adjustability cover is my stem length. All other spec are too limited.

TimE
TimE
6 months ago
Reply to  Hexsense

Then don’t buy one . Problem solved . Some customers a brand doesn’t need

Hexsense
Hexsense
6 months ago
Reply to  TimE

Sure. I won’t buy what doesn’t fit.
I’m just pointing out their “plenty of options” cover a really limited range.

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Hexsense

You have one of the most nonsensical bar setups out there though. Who uses negative rise bars in the first place? Plus 16 degree back sweep is something surly would use on one of the weird bike backing things. So to call that out is just being a dink. Your response is like some complaining they don’t make a drop bar option cause they run a drop bar on their 160mm enduro bike. “I guess they don’t make a bike for Everyone!”

Hexsense
Hexsense
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

1) Negative rise is actually an offset from the stem. Not from bar (which is 0 rise). This is XC bike. See the stem on Flukinger’s bike this year? That’s exact stem I use too.
Ever heard of FSA Drop stem or Syntace Flatforce? They are about 20 degree down and then have additional downward offset on top. It’s a way for rider about 5’6 and shorter on 29″ wheel with suspension fork to have bar NOT HIGHER than the saddle. Any normal stem and my bar is above saddle level. Which is high for XC.

2) 16 degree is high but not into the region of alternate funky bar. Sqlab, Protaper and some others still make such bar that start at 720mm, 740mm and 800mm to be cut down to size. Bar backsweep is personal ergonomic, not personal preference. If it’s not right, rider isn’t comfortable. That’s why bar come in ~7 degree, 12 degree, 16 degree and even 20 degree. That leave aside alt bars which have even more sweep.

Not all XC rider are tall enough to not need downward offset stem.
If the median of optimal bar sweep for mass population is 12 degree. Then how many actually would feel more comfortable with sweep more than 9 degree?

Hexsense
Hexsense
6 months ago
Reply to  Hexsense

A bit more clarification on the stem offset:
Nino Schurter use -40 degree stem. Look how it is shaped (curved) to avoid colliding with head tube.
Most other drop stem simply use less severe straight angle (like -20 or -25 degree) with downward offset bar clamp. It’s actually common to see in XC field.

Hexsense
Hexsense
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

This is XC bike…
Negative rise is actually coming from drop stem. FSA SLK-Drop and Syntace Flatforce have negative offset to bar clamp.
Drop stem is common in XC field for rider 5’6 or shorter to have bar not higher than saddle.

Bar sweep is also personal ergonomic thing (not to be confused with personal preference). Normal range (not considering alt bar) span from 6 degree, 9, 12, 16 and even 20 degree. Yes 16 is high. But not into alt-bar range.